He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
Psalm 103:12 (NLT)
According to God’s Message the following statements are true:
- Committing one small sin makes you just as guilty as committing a million of them.
- No sin is better or worse than any other.
- If we confess our sin and turn away from them, God’s forgiveness is absolute.
- In forgiving us, God removes our sin in infinite measure (see verse above).
I live in a small town known for it’s conservative world-view. I’ve learned that some people have very good memories when it comes to my moral failures. Unlike God, they remember my sins and are slow to forget. Ironically, those who claim to be the most devout Christians are also those most likely to cling to their memories of my sins and to treat me with on-going suspicion.
I’ve come to learn that the journey of faith is not only about believing in God, but also believing the truth regarding how God sees us. It can be difficult to embrace the reality that God has graciously and completely forgiven us when those who claim to be fellow believers insist on reminding us of our shortcomings and refuse to let go of their own personal judgments. I’ve learned that this shame effect is even more intense when those who cling to the memory of our past are family members or close companions. For some, the judgment of others shackles them to a sense of shame and keeps them from experiencing the reality of the abundant Life and freedom Jesus promises.
I am reminded this morning that in choosing to follow Jesus I also choose to acknowledge, accept, and embrace the reality of who I am in Jesus. I am a sinner saved by grace. My sins are washed away by the flood of His grace. God does not see the sin of those who believe, receive and follow. In the parlance of the great theologian, Buzz Lightyear, our sins have been removed “to infinity and beyond.”
God, help me this day to see myself reflected in your eyes and to live in the freedom of your forgiveness. Give me the grace to refuse bowing to my reflection in the judgmental gaze of those who desire to perpetually remind me of those things you’ve chosen to forget.